All posts by Tony Attwood

Will GDPR change the way the education sector operates?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a hot topic in European media for a while, with talks on how this new legislation can impact different businesses across all sectors. However, although it’s one of the most dominant sectors in the world, education is sometimes left unaddressed. To find out more, we’ve teamed up with 2020 Vision, experts in IP CCTV systems and the security industry.

What is this piece of legislation?

To comprehend what impact this new piece of legislation can have on those operating in education, you need to have a clear understanding of what GDPR is. GDPR is set to strengthen data protection across Europe and will eventually replace the current Data Protection Act (DPA). It will be implemented on the 25th of May 2018. Even though the UK will soon leave the EU after the decision was made in the 2016 referendum, it’s likely that GDPR will be brought into British law by the government and enforced as if it was its own initiative to help unify data protection.

What the education sector needs to know:

Over the years, schools will have collected a strong portfolio of data on students from the past and present, as well as staff who have worked within the institution. More educational institutes acquire surveillance footage of what is happening on a daily basis through the necessary CCTV systems that they have in place. Whether it’s stored in a filing cabinet or backed up on an IT system, there’s a lot of data collected in schools and universities and this will eventually be impacted by the GDPR legislation.

Within the education sector, education centres already have a duty of care regarding the Data Protection Act (DPA) — meaning that all data stored should be protected with the greatest concern to prevent data breaches. Although this will still apply once GDPR has arrived, education practices will have a more intense responsibility of protecting data, no matter what the format is, to ensure that they comply with the new regulation.

Non-compliant organisations may find themselves paying hefty fines as a consequence for not protecting data in the correct manner outlined in this new framework. As schools will currently know, under the DPA, the non-compliance payment can reach a high of £500,000, which is enforced by the Information Commissioners Office. GDPR fines could lead up to £20 million or 4% of global turnover for both data controllers and processors.

Data Controller:

An education centre which decides how data is used.

Data Processor:

Someone who processes data on behalf of an education centre.

Around the subject of data processors, after 25th May 2018, it will become a criminal offence to choose one that doesn’t have the minimum capabilities for IT asset disposal. Education establishments will have to prove that they are working with a credible organisation when it comes to disposal of data.

In the education sector, it’s not mandatory for institutes to have a contract of agreement in place with their Data Processor. However, this is all set to change under the GDPR ruling. Next year, schools will have to have a contract or SLA (Service Level Agreement) in place with who they decide to work with — if this is not enforced, you will be breaking the law.

What the education sector can do about this problem:

Schools are already complying with the DPA, making it an easier process to make the appropriate changes for the introduction of GDPR. However, just because you’re complying with DPA doesn’t mean you’re complying with GDPR, and this will lead you to review and make some adjustments to your current policies.

According to the Information Commissioners Office, there a few steps that those working in education can take to ensure they are compliant. But the first step is awareness, and you need to make sure that people who handle any type of personal data are aware that DPA is changing to GDPR and they need to know about what they can and can’t do, whilst also understanding the consequences.

Education centres should look at who they are sharing data with, then conduct an information audit to see the reasons why. As children are usually involved, you need to put systems in place that will help verify a person’s age and then gather parental/guardian consent for any data processing activity that you might do.

Eventually, schools will want to remove data of former students from their system. To do this, you need to consider the students’ rights and this can determine how you delete data or provide data in an electronic format.

In the event of a significant data breach, there must be reasonable procedure methods in place to combat the issue and minimise the leak of data. All staff handling data should be aware of these procedures. It could be beneficial to appoint a Data Protection Officer who can take responsibility for data protection.

As GDPR is set to arrive on the 25th of May 2018, it’s vital that education centres start making the appropriate changes now.


How to do more to help parents

Have you observed any children who have:

  •  Relationship difficulties at home and in the nursery?
  • Anger management problems?
  • Attachment issues?
  • A lack of self-esteem & confidence?
  • Adjustment issues?
  • Suffered bereavement of a close relative?
  • Experience of domestic violence?
  • Signs of ADHD?

These are the eight top children’s emotional well-being problems.  If not detected and dealt with at an early stage, they are likely to develop into more serious conditions requiring therapy which in some cases may be for many years.

The good news is that if these problems are at an early stage and the degree of severity is only slight, you can coach the parent(s) in how to use play at home for only ten minutes a day to resolve them.

Help the children, help the parents, increase your income.

Just contact me at or phone 01825 761143 for a discussion.

Kind regards

Monika Jephcott

Chief Executive Play Therapy UK


Chief Inspector of Schools says everyone in education should help 

“…. In our schools it is our responsibility to tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law. That doesn’t just mean Ofsted, but everyone involved in education.”

Amanda Spielman, Chief Schools Inspector, told a Church of England education conference, January 2018

The Chief Schools Inspector used a speech to a Church of England education conference last month to warn schools that they should not assume that the “most conservative voices” of a particular faith group speak for everyone.

She argued, “rather than adopting a passive liberalism, that says ‘anything goes’ for fear of causing offence school leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism.”

“Giving way to the loudest voices is the opposite of tolerance.”

Gresham’s KS2 & KS3 British Values Series is a range of books and posters to help leaders promote British Values with ‘muscular liberalism’.

Each book explains and promote a core British Values theme:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual
  • Mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs

With important concepts supported with discussion and written activities.



British Values starter bundles – everything you need to help promote British Values


How can students most readily understand the key differences and similarities between the three monotheistic religions?

It is common to find that many students do not appreciate the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam, or between Roman Catholicism and the Greek Orthodox Church.

We are now giving a range of talks which have been found to be useful and to enhance the lessons of teachers of Religious Studies.

The material for the talks has been written and prepared by experts in, and practitioners of each religion, and are given by two speakers of different religions together. All are highly knowledgeable about their own religion and each other’s.

Inter-action is built into every session and involvement of the students is encouraged throughout. The presentations are accompanied by colourful, informative power points and films.

The speakers can speak to groups of any size and age, and will adapt the talks to the age of each audience, and to your requirements.

Cost: Free, although we would appreciate a voluntary contribution towards expenses where possible.

To book, or for more details:


Originally started by schools and nurseries in Scandinavia as a means of providing extra learning spaces (due to a lack of indoor facilities), the concept of forest schools has certainly gained traction in the UK in the past decade.

The overall concept of the forest schools programme is to allow children to develop self-esteem and confidence through practical and hands-on learning experiences in either a woodland or forest-style setting with trees. The programme is not just for rural based schools either as it is widely practised by inner city educational establishments as well – who perhaps benefit from it more living and learning within an urban environment.

The programme encourages regular visits rather than just being a one-off experience and has been proven to foster the emotional and mental well-being of participant pupils and students.

One could argue that the natural setting of a forest or woodland provides adequate play experiences and we would certainly not disagree with this. But we have a product range which certainly complements this theme of outdoor learning.

The most popular product in this range is our Hideout House outdoor fire pit shelter Making and lighting fires is certainly part of the Forest School initiative (under forest school practitioner’s guidance) where children can collect wood to burn in the fire pit. The shelter itself is typically octagonal in shape with a special hole in the roof to allow for easy smoke exhaustion. So as to stop rain entering through this hole (and probably putting out the fire!), there is an option to have a two tier roof system which essentially is an elevated “hat” at the apex of the building with side ventilation points.

Children can sit on the benches which run from post to post and we also apply a fire retardant intumescent varnish to the underside of the roof. You can also partially enclose the fire pit shelter with side roll-down canvas panels to give the children a bit more protection from the elements.

Dens and den making are also big features of hands-on play experiences in forest schools. Taking this into consideration, we have developed a living wall tipi. It acts as a den or shelter in the first instance but it has wire mesh side panels so that you can either grow climbing plants up to the side so that eventually it becomes totally enclosed courtesy of Mother Nature….or children can collect twigs, foliage etc and cover it themselves.

The Hideout House Company also offer a comprehensive range of outdoor shelters and classrooms which range from temporary “pop-up” bell tents and canvas canopies secured to trees right over to fully insulated and enclosed buildings. These type of classrooms are usually heated off-grid with wood burning stoves which again complements the whole forest school concept. A certain degree of power can also be supplied by solar and wind turbines.

But not a lot of money has to be spent as we can easily supply a package of an open fire pit with surround woodland benching, a bug hotel and nature observation tables with a magnifying glass attached.

If you would like to know how we can help your school develop its forest school activities and programme, then please contact the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982 or email:


Debate Chamber Summer Schools 2018

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for our older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of discussion and debate, creates the perfect environment for getting to grips with new ideas. Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days means a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students, and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest each individual.

We offer a wide range of subjects, including medicine, law, science and mathematics, but here I would like to take the opportunity to highlight a few of our most popular events, all aimed at students with a keen interest in understanding more about current affairs, society, and the world around them.

Humanities and Social Science Highlights for 2018:

The Economics Summer School for students aged 15-18. Focusing on political economy and macro-economics, the five-day Economics Summer School will include seminars on a diverse range of topics, from financial and currency markets to an analysis of economic inequality and its potential remedies. We will also be looking at development strategies in emerging economies, and on the impact of Brexit on the UK and other economies. The focus throughout will be on debate and discussion, and on encouraging and supporting students to engage critically and actively with the material.

See more details about the Economics Summer School –

The Politics Summer School for students aged 15-18. This five-day course will look at both political theory and political science, giving students a great introduction to undergraduate level study. It will include seminars on questions of political philosophy – including human rights, representation, and civil liberties – workshops on what we as citizens can do to influence policy areas that we care about, and political science workshops on the emergence of populist movements and changing voter behavior in both the UK and US. The Summer School will conclude with a full day Mock Parliament, with participants taking the role of MPs, forming parties, making policy and debating legislation.

See more details about the Politics Summer School –

The International Relations Summer School for students aged 15-18. This course will introduce the central theories involved in the academic study of IR – realism, liberalism and constructivism – and will look at a range of detailed case studies in order to apply, test and explore these theories. Topics covered will include military intervention, international law, development aid, feminism and IR, and regional sessions looking at China and the Middle East, and at the European response to the migration crisis. Students will be encouraged throughout to consider their own responses to international affairs, and to engage actively with material through strategic exercises, policy briefings and debates.

See more details about the International Relations Summer School –

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2018. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at There is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.


Targeting Bullying and Internet Safety to improve pupil wellbeing.

“This is about helping children navigate this world, they have got all sorts of rights that we have signed up to in the physical world. It is now time to sign up to those in the digital world,” Anne Longfield. Children’s Commissioner for England

It can be an extremely difficult task for schools to find PSHE projects and activities that are exciting, engaging and memorable, however that is exactly what is needed to create a lasting impact on their relationships, experiences and choices.

According to OFSTED “In 80% of primary and secondary schools, outside speakers made a valuable contribution by bringing a wide range of expertise and life experiences to the PSHE education programme.”

Tip of the Iceberg theatre company have been designing and delivering PSHE performances and workshops for the last 15 years and are completely funded by educational establishments.  It’s taken over 6 years of research and development across the country with over 200,000 pupils to create “Beyond the Surface”. A series of shows based on a “fly on the wall” TV documentary format that is familiar to pupils and gives them a springboard to explore how the media, internet and real life all intertwine.  The follow up workshops allow students to relate themselves to the issues and are involving, inspiring and informing. All their projects focus on empowering young people and improving mental health and well-being.

This summer term, Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company are touring two projects, “Bullied Britain” and “Connected Britain”.  There is a range of options from 1 performance for up to 120 pupils (years 5 and 6) to full day packages including a range of shows and workshops for years 1 to 6.   The projects can be purely PSHE focused or can also include drama sessions and presentations by pupils at the end of the day.

Every school and their students are different which is why they offer bespoke packages to create the highest impact and ensure all needs are met.  To read a little more about the projects take a look on the website:

Tip of the Iceberg are passionate about improving the lives of young people and supporting education across the country:

“Just wanted to say the delivery from Tip of the Iceberg yesterday was fantastic. The workshops and the performances really helped consolidate many of the messages we try to give our students and the delivery was passionate and pertinent. I know the young people will have taken a great deal from it.. and the acting team were great to work with.

Thanks so much for being so accommodating- a delight to work with and I will be recommending you to my PSHE colleagues” C Naylor. Brighouse School Yorkshire

“I meant to email to say how much everyone enjoyed the show and to say how great your team were. Everyone loved it so much that we want to book again for next year.” Mary Scott. Parkfield School, Taunton

Prices start from £575 + VAT for a half day and £775 + VAT for a full day.

Contact us for full information on delivery, prices, and availability.

Tel: 01707 527140 or 07519 593711

Generating income whilst effectively maintaining the pupils’ interest in PE and sport

Many schools report that increasing the accessibility and variety of PE and Sport they can offer allows them to create new and therefore exciting lessons.

However it can be hard to maintain the heightened interest level that can be generated at the start of the programme.

In order to resolve this issue and maintain interest throughout we have developed a website that shows how a school’s indoor PE and sports facility can be enhanced.

This new website looks at everything from the development of a new sports hall floor, the use of new sports equipment, to the maintenance and use of the equipment the school already has.

We also look at how schools are introducing new sports, dance or other activities, with particular emphasis on supporting and including the least active children.

All this encourages pupil participation which can eventually become pupils taking on leadership and volunteer roles in the future.

As a result schools are starting to see improvements such as the engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity, including in competitive sport.

This has a “knock on” effect to attract outdoor teams and programmes to rent school facilities and generate a much-needed income.  This is self-serving for the school as the profile of PE and sport is raised and used as a tool for whole-school improvement.

If you would like to learn more there is an immediate opportunity on the website

A French information book for primary school children


Since children are typically very vocal about what they like and dislike (especially when it comes to food), Bon appétit ! has proved to be very effective at teaching children French language.

The book reinforces language for likes and dislikes (j’aime, j’adore, j’aime bien, j’aime beaucoup, je n’aime pas, je déteste) by asking six French children from different regions what food they like and dislike. 

To download your FREE COPY of BON APPÉTIT !, simply fill out the form at this link. 

Bon appétit ! is from a series of 18 graded French information books written to encourage children to become independent readers. To order any one of these books for just £3.75 (+p&p), simply click on the individual links below.


Level One

La France en couleurs

Un, deux, trois … soleil !

Des animaux importants

Les jours de la semaine

Bonjour tout le monde !

C’est ça Paris !

Level Two

Inventés en France

Une journée à l’école

C’est la fête !

J’aime lire

Bon appétit !

Vive le sport

Level Three

Un tour de France

Jeunes francophones

Des parcs d’attractions

Pourquoi la France ?

Petite histoire des transports

Des Français célèbres

If you would like to order sets of French Information Books with a teaching guide, at a discounted price, simply choose from the following bundle options: 

French Information Books – Level 1                             £27.99 

French Information Books – Level 2                             £27.99 

French Information Books – Level 3                             £27.99 

French Information Books – Level 1, 2 and 3             £67.00 (SAVE £16.97) 

Alternatively, you can place an order:

  • over the phone on 01449 766629
  • by email to
  • by fax on 01449 767122
  • or by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND

Last chance to book Macbeth for in-school or on stage performances

It was fantastic! So professional and carefully engineered to give the students what they need.

There’s still time to book a performance of Macbeth for your students.

Fred Theatre’s revival of last year’s very successful Macbeth (Making Scotland Great Again) is out on the road this term and you still have time, just, to book an in-school performance. Why not give your students the advantage of a live performance at a competitive rate?

Our 90 minute adaptation is a fresh and exciting re-telling of the familiar and much-loved story. Macbeth features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience. If you have room, and feel it would be a good idea, you can also invite some parents along too, so that they can see what their sons and daughters are studying.

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office,, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

Macbeth can also be seen on stage in London at The Cockpit, Marylebone, on Tuesday 20 February at either 13:30 or 19:30. All tickets are £10 with comps for staff.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director

PS: We love getting feedback from schools. Here’s what one teacher wrote after a performance of Macbeth at her school a couple of weeks ago:

Hi Helen,

I just wanted to provide some feedback on today’s performance. It was fantastic! So professional and carefully engineered to give the students what they need. The actors were really impressive—they held the audience for the entire performance; no mean feat when dealing with 210+ sleepy teenagers!  

Kind regards,

Kathy Bliss, Parmiter’s School, Nr Watford